Shipping giant DHL is partnering with a South African footwear brand to honor the legacy and creativity of Africa
- DHL partnered with a South African fashion brand for a limited-edition shoe.
- With investors including Mark Cuban and Ashton Kutcher, the Veldsoken shoe has gained attention.
- Insider spoke with co-founder and CEO Nick Dreyer to learn why this collaboration is special.
Long before the first Europeans arrived in Cape Town, native Southern Africans, today called the Khoisan, lived, farmed, and cultivated the land. The nomadic Khoisan traversed rugged terrain in foot coverings made from animal skins that proved both durable and breathable for the subtropical climate.
When they arrived on South African shores in the 17th century, Dutch settlers found their native wooden clogs weren’t suited to their new environment. So they adopted the Khoisan’s practical footwear, calling them Veldskoen. Rugged and durable, the Veldskoen boot became the worker’s shoe of choice.
Today, Veldskoen, or vellies, are worn by everyone from diplomats to farmers. But more than just a fashion statement, the boot is symbolic of the rich cultural history of South Africa.
Last week, shoe company Veldskoen announced a collaboration with German-headquartered logistics company DHL Express (DHL). With a colorful, modernized makeover of the iconic South African shoe and support from early investors including Mark Cuban and Ashton Kutcher, Veldskoen co-founders Nick Dreyer and Ross Zondagh introduced the namesake brand to the US market. The launch of the DHL and Veldskoen’s “Dear Everyone” campaign marks the shipping company’s first fashion collaboration with an African brand.
“When DHL approached us with an idea to collaborate on a limited-edition shoe to highlight South African fashion, it was a no-brainer for us,” Dreyer told Insider. “There were instant synergies between our two brands, the most obvious one being the desire to make a difference in the communities in which we operate.”
There have only been 365 pairs of the “Dear Everyone” shoe produced. To get a pair, buyers need to enter a lottery before April 15 and shell out $300 if they are selected.